This original database includes individual philanthropists giving in Mainland China between September 2014 and August 2015, the geography of giving and receiving, causes supported, industries represented, and level of generosity.
Donated and Pledged
Of China’s GDP
The southern province of China is home to 21 philanthropists who donated about ￥1.1 billion, making it the most generous region in terms of absolute giving and number of donors. He Xiangjian, founder of the electrical appliance manufacturer Midea, leads with ￥400 million donation in 2015.
China’s booming property market has minted the most top philanthropists. Nearly a third of the country's top 100 donors come from the construction/real estate industry, followed by Manufacturing (19), Consumer (14) and Technology (13).
Education causes receive the lion’s share with 59 philanthropists making contributions. Poverty Alleviation/Social Welfare is the second most active sector (52), followed by Disaster Relief (8) and Healthcare (8). Significantly, giving to environmental causes ranks last.
Though high-profile scandals have eroded trust in government-backed charities, they continue to play a dominant role. More than half of the philanthropists (57) donate to government or state-affiliated charities.
Top Chinese donors are increasingly developing their own systems for professionalized philanthropy. Nearly a fifth of the donors on this list have established their own personal or family foundations as a vehicle for giving.
China's top donors are overwhelmingly male, with only 11 of the Top 100 philanthropists this year are women.
The rise of private wealth is one of the most important developments in modern China, with implications for the country’s social, economic, and political arenas. How individuals choose to deploy such resources will shape the relationships between the individual and the state, between the state and business, and between the state and the social sector.
This project aims to strengthen understanding of China’s philanthropic landscape by analyzing the makeup and choices of China’s most generous individuals. We hope the introduction of a metric on level of generosity, while imperfect, will add a new dimension to the discussion on how China’s wealthy choose to support charitable causes. We welcome comments and suggestions on our analysis and methodology through the email address listed below. The findings compile data from a variety of sources including media reports, company websites, corporate filings and trade journals. When possible we have further verified the data by directly contacting the philanthropist or the recipient of the gift.
We believe that an independent, verified, and research-oriented database on China's philanthropic giving will enable much-needed quantitative research on the sector and provide a crucial resource for government, academic, media, and non-profit organizations.
We will supplement the database with a range of case studies, white papers, academic articles, and interviews with leading philanthropists and leaders of philanthropic organizations.
This website will be updated annually. The 2015 report was compiled by: Peiran Wei (MC MPA '15, Harvard Kennedy School), Zijia Guo (MIB '15, The Fletcher School of Tufts University), Qinqin Wu (MDes '15, Harvard Graduate School of Design), Cuimei Zhang (Ed.M '15, Harvard Graduate School of Education) and Evan Kornbluh (MPP/MBA Candidate, Harvard Kennedy School/Harvard Business School).